Fables / Edition 2

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Overview

Marie de France, one of the best-known medieval women, is justly famous for her Lais, but her longer work, the Fables, has been newly discovered by modern audiences. This collection of 103 tales is the earliest extant vernacular collection of fables from western Europe.

Marie de France's sources are not clear; she appears to claim a unique source, but that is obviously not true; the first forty tales are part of the Latin tradition, specifically the Romulus Nilantii, but the other sixty-three seem to come from all over: other Greek and Latin works, fabliaux, monks' tales, the Panchatantra, and the folk traditions of Italy, Germany, Greece, France, and the Middle East. Whatever her source, she contributed her own perspective - a wry fatalism, timely social commentary, and a feminine perspective.

Harriet Spiegel's translation follows the original closely; the rhyming couplets not only render the tone and form of Marie de France's text with sympathy and fidelity, but also are particularly apt for the genre and sit squarely in the tradition of the English verse fable.

Originally published by University of Toronto Press, 1987.

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Editorial Reviews

R.J. Cormier

'The stories amaze and delight ... All in all, a handsomely presented volume ...'

Nancy Vine Durling

'This edition/translation is an important contribution to medieval studies ... Spiegel provides here a translation which captures admirably the liveliness of Marie's imagination. As a "tribute to [Marie's spirit" one could not ask for better.'

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780802076366
  • Publisher: University of Toronto Press, Scholarly Publishing Division
  • Publication date: 10/26/1994
  • Series: MART: The Medieval Academy Reprints for Teaching Series , #32
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 282
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.73 (d)

Meet the Author

Harriet Spiegel is a member of the English Department at California State University, Chico.
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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Author and Date 3
Marie de France and the Fable Tradition 6
Marie's Contribution 7
Earlier Editions of the Fables 11
The Text 13
The Translation 15
Notes 16
French Titles 22
English Titles 23
The Fables 28
Short Title List 263
Notes 265
Table of Concordances 279
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